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 Post subject: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:28 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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Ok, so my toddler got over his hunger strike and has been eating. What I am getting annoyed about it that he will not touch fruits or veggies at all. He will not touch strawberries, watermelon, raspberries, or bananas. He will not touch peas, corn, carrots, broccoli or beans. The only thing he eats is brown colored foods like bread, sunshine burgers and smoked tofu. I am happy he is eating these other things but I figured after 2 or 3 weeks of putting a variety of veggies and fruits in front of him and him watching me eat/enjoy these foods he would at least have let one piece pass his lips. NOPE. Not one flipping piece of fruit or veggie in whole form has passed this kids lips. The only way he eats fruit and veggies and by sucking on pouches.

I don't force anything on him. I don't even make a fuss about him trying anything. I act totally neutral about fruits and veggies on his plate. Do I just need more patience? He only started table food about 1 month ago. He is 16 months. Yes, I waited way to long. My next baby I will start table foods so much earlier.

What do you all do about this? From reading these forums it seems you all have great eating kids...kids who eat veggies and fruits.

My plan for now is to just keep offering at every meal and every snack as I have been doing. I eat these foods in front of him for every meal and every snack. I just figured it would have caught on by now.

Do I need patience? Is there some kind of trick I am missing here? Or am I just an idiot for waiting so long to introduce table foods?


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:51 am 
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I don't think that you are an idiot. All kids are different, and they all go through phases as far as food goes. I think you're definitely doing the right thing by offering fruits and veggies often and letting him see that you eat them as well.

I hope someone else here can offer some tips and tricks. I'm very lucky to have a kid who would live off of broccoli and strawberries if I let him, but that all might change in an instant so I'll be watching this thread to file away for future!

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:49 am 
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You're definitely not an idiot! I have a hard time getting Ada to eat fruits and veggies too and she's been eating table food from early on although we did start with purees. She would live on carbs and beans if I let her. A lot of times she will be more likely to eat something when she is running around and not in her high chair. Or if one of her baby friends is eating it. So her thing now is grabbing a peach when we are food shopping and eating it while she is in the ergo. But if I gave her a peach any other time she would just smush it up. Another thing she likes are curries with chopped up veggies in them (spinach, sweet potato, carrots, etc). Sometimes I spoon feed her them, sometimes I hand her the spoon and she feeds herself, or sometimes she just uses her hands. I also give her fruit pouches and the happy tot pouches if I think she hasn't been getting enough otherwise or if we are out for the day. And another thing I do is try to add veggies to things I make. For example, pumpkin pancakes, zucchini banana muffins, red pepper hummus, spinach bean dip, etc. I know that doesn't solve the problem of getting her to eat straight up veggies but at least I know in the meantime I'm getting some in her if she's only take a bite or two of any veggies I offer at mealtimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:13 pm 
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I read somewhere once that the average toddler needs to try a given food something like a dozen times before they'll accept it as part of their repertoire. So don't despair, you may need to just keep offering and waiting.

My older son ate literally anything until about 22 months, then suddenly would eat pretty much nothing but tofu, totally plain pasta, rice cakes, broccoli and fruit. It was maddening, because he wouldn't touch stuff he'd previously had and loved. I just kept offering and eventually, magically (it seems to me) he started eating some of pretty much whatever he's offered again. But there were six orseven awful months in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:41 pm 
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It's true that kids need to try something multiple times before they know whether they really like it or not (at least 7, but could be more like 10). Do you use dips or anything? Sometimes using a dip (hummus, nut butters, yogurt, etc.) helps get kids to eat things they may not eat on their own. What about freezing smushed fruit into freezer pops? And big hugs. I know that it can be really hard and frustrating but you guys will get through it!

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:35 pm 
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sashi wrote:
She would live on carbs and beans if I let her. A lot of times she will be more likely to eat something when she is running around and not in her high chair. Or if one of her baby friends is eating it. So her thing now is grabbing a peach when we are food shopping and eating it while she is in the ergo. But if I gave her a peach any other time she would just smush it up.


Oh, man. Ada sounds like Inez's food twin.

I second the dip suggestion (at the very least it gets her more interested in her food, which usually equates to at least couple more bites). We do a lot of smoothies, which are a great way to get more fruits and vegetables into them. I make one with avocado and strawberries pretty much daily and she's also happily slurped down one with spinach and berries.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Even IF you waited too long, and even IF your son is one of those lives-off-plain-pasta-and-air kids...everything will be FINE. My husband claims he ate pretty much nothing but PB&J, mac and cheese, and hot dogs until he moved out of the house. He is six feet tall and great looking and can hold a conversation and he's not even a picky eater. It sounds like you're doing a great job of offering him a variety of foods now, and not making a big deal about it. Two books that were helpful to me - although they're written from a veg-friendly but omni perspective - are Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter and Eating for Beginners by Melanie Rehak. The kid in Eating for Beginners wouldn't eat anything green and his mom was a super foodie, worked in a restaurant, the whole deal. Child of Mine has a wonderful philosophy about the division of responsibility at meals: you serve it, they eat (or don't eat) it. She also treats mealtimes like fun, no-pressure occasions and suggests we trust kids to eat what they need. Hang in there, mama!


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:52 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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Hey Everyone,

Thanks so much. I really appreciate all of your kind words.

I really have to try some dips. I always hear that, that works good to get them to eat more. I tried smoothies and I still can't get him to drink one. I have a big green smoothie every morning so he does see me drink one. He likes when I spoon feed him a couple of bites, so that is a good start. Before we switched to table foods I used to feed him big bowls of quinoa, flax, hemp, beans, lentils, avocado, greens (not all together). And it was nice knowing he was getting all of that good stuff. Now I can't get all that good stuff into him anymore and it worries me. Like Axel said, either way he will be fine...he will survive. When i think back to what I grew up on...cheese and mustard sandwiches. That is all I would eat for years. EEEEw.

Also, I have just read that book Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter. AWESOME book!! It has given me a whole new outlook on toddlers and food. It really calmed me down and took away a lot of anxiety. I will look up the other book you mentioned too.

Thanks again everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:11 am 
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yep. it is one of the more annoying things in my life right now.

tzipi basically refuses to eat any green thing except for cucumber drenched in dressing, peas and occasionally pureed soups. she also likes those Mediterranean spinach pies, but there are definitely days where she doesn't eat anything green at all, as the green things she will eat are often hit or miss. i made a really yummy cream of broccoli soup which she ate enthusiastically one day, then refused every other day.

she tends to like fruit. mango is always a hit, banana, apple, citrus, berries and everything else will be occasionally refused. she will always drink chocolate soy milk, apple juice, smoothies (banana, frozen fruit and coconut milk), and eat granola bars, toast with various spreads, plain rice and plain pasta. she will usually eat at least some soup or stew, potato, couscous, hummus and tomato based foods (raw pieces, sauces, etc). oh, and plain uncooked tofu is always enjoyed, but seasoned and cooked tofu is sometimes not.

she also goes through very obvious but unpredictable appetite swings which are each about 3-4 days long. she barely eats anything for 4 days, to the point where i'm tearing my hair out and dreading meals, and then suddenly she's STARVING and MUST EAT ALL THE THINGS. once i realized there was a pattern to the madness, i was able to relax a bit.

my new philosophy is to stick tight to one or two rules (sweet drinks like milk and juice are tightly regulated, you may not eat unlimited bowls of plain white rice or pasta) and basically ignore everything else to the best of my ability. my husband and i eat very well and a wide variety of foods, so every meal time, the good, interesting food is out and available, and she can eat or not eat as she pleases. one day i hope she will notice that mommy and daddy eat and enjoy just about every plant under the sun, until then she can just eat peanut butter and toast for all i care.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:37 pm 
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My daughter was almost exclusively breastfed (by her choice) until about 17 months. She was pretty timid as far a food choices, but now at almost 8, she's a very adventurous eater. Keep offering and modeling. Make yummy noises while you eat!


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:55 pm 
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Tell me about it! I've complained about this same thing elsewhere recently so I'll just say I totally agree. So annoying!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:49 am 
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God give us strength, seriously!! I think the hardest part is the lack of control, it is for me anyway. After having a child, i realize what a control freak I can be. This whole thing is about letting go...I realized this. It is up to us to offer nutritious food and it is up to the baby if and how much they will eat.

Good luck to all of you Mamas!


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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Kai is getting pickier and picker every day. It is driving me insane!

It seems all he will eat now is fruit & carbs - like biscuits, pancakes, crackers, pretzels, bread. Peanut butter is the only surefire protein. Sometimes gee whiz spread (beans) on noodles. Peas & butternut squash in raviolis is about the extent of his veggies. Maybe the occasional carrot.

Tonight I made him cheezy bbq bean patties shaped like trucks. He was so excited it was shaped like a fire truck, then basically touched it with his tongue and that was the end of it. So I stuck it in a mini pita w/ ketchup & daiya. He took one bite then ate nothing else but the daiya shreds. I also served it with sweet potato tots which he wouldn't touch.

For easter I made birds nests with chocolate, peanut butter, & chinese noodles. He wouldn't even eat those!!

AUGH.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Aubade, your food always sounds soooooo amazing! I wish I could eat it. Seriously.

Sorry Kai is going through a picky phase. I think you are doing the right thing by continuing to offer him healthy foods.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Yes, your food really sounds so yummy! I hope things get easier soon.

For whatever reason, L is great with soups. If I can make something a soup, she will eat it all up.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:50 pm 
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Both of my kids are picky in their own ways. My daughter will eat any fruit or veggie I send her way, but only if it's plain. She will eat zucchini chips, and might tolerate a little sesame oil and salt on green beans, but for the most part, she likes them plain. However she is incredibly picky regarding her main dish. And god forbid any foods touch or mix! The only remotely mixed foods she will eat are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and tofurky sandwiches. Even that she used to pull out the tofurky and eat the bread separately.

My son is the opposite. He is more adventurous with main dishes, but avoids vegetables like they are poison. He is more likely to eat them as a part of a dish. He will eat things not traditionally considered kid food like spanakopita, sweet potato peanut soup, and spinach artichoke hummus, but if you try to give him regular veggies he gags like you are trying to kill him. He wont even eat french fries for forks sake!

I remember reading that picky eating during toddlerhood was, at one point, adaptive. Toddlers are mobile enough to get away from momma and start to be independent, but not quite smart enough to remember what they should and should not eat. The picky eaters were the ones who didn't eat the poison berries and survived. So when my kids started getting picky I just reminded myself they were doing what they were conditioned to do by evolution, and they would grow out of it just as surely later on.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:54 am 
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Well I know I was really picky as a kid so I guess what goes around comes around. My mom thinks it is kind of funny.

I didn't like lunch in grade school, so I told her I liked salami on rye w/ mustard and the crusts cut off so she made me that every day. Every day, I gave it to this kid named Harry Clayton (don't ask me why I remember this!) and bought an ice cream sandwich instead. That was all I ate for lunch for years!

I guess I survived so Kai probably will too but wow is it annoying. He is looking pretty skinny these days too, especially since he's been sick with a cold for weeks since he started day care. Even though he did great at his last well visit I worry!

At least last week I found some blueberry flavored protein bars that he seems to like.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Sometimes I just think I'm better off making dinner and throwing it on the floor, because that's where it ends up going. Just sayin'.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:56 am 
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OK are those 'cuties' oranges laced with heroin? Because V will eat about four of those in one sitting. She goes to the fridge, says "DOOR" very insistently until I open it, then roots through the fruit drawer to find one. Which is all fine, or was until I was at whole foods and had to get, you know, regular ol' nonbranded organic tangerines or clementines or whatever that look and (to me) taste exactly the same, but if I peel one of those for her, she eats one segment and then refuses any more and just gets mad at me. Goes back to the fridge, has a tantrum because I don't have the correct type of orange.

Babysitter says her (5yo) daughter is the same way about rejecting other oranges. Has to be those darned 'cutie' ones. what the fizzle?


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:59 am 
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It will get better!
My youngest (20 months) will not eat any vegetables in solid form. BUT, he will drink anything, and i mean ANYTHING that I juice. The other day i juiced swiss chard, oranges, and grapefruit. He just kept chugging. He will drink any veggie I juice, but hand it to him on a plate and he ignores it. He will eat crackers, noodles/pasta, tofu, strawberries, blueberries. He'll chew on oranges and spit out when he's done getting the juice out. He'll also eat hummus by the spoonful.. Rice cakes..


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:31 am 
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annak wrote:
OK are those 'cuties' oranges laced with heroin? Because V will eat about four of those in one sitting. She goes to the fridge, says "DOOR" very insistently until I open it, then roots through the fruit drawer to find one. Which is all fine, or was until I was at whole foods and had to get, you know, regular ol' nonbranded organic tangerines or clementines or whatever that look and (to me) taste exactly the same, but if I peel one of those for her, she eats one segment and then refuses any more and just gets mad at me. Goes back to the fridge, has a tantrum because I don't have the correct type of orange.

Babysitter says her (5yo) daughter is the same way about rejecting other oranges. Has to be those darned 'cutie' ones. what the fizzle?


I feel you on this. We have an orange tree bursting with ripe, juicy, seedless oranges and I still have to buy those stupid cuties. Do you know how frustrating it is to give oranges away to every person you see lest they go bad, and still have to buy some?


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:00 pm 
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I have a three year old and a seven month old. The baby will eat ANYTHING--his current favorites are roasted seaweed and noochy kale. The three year old feels very strongly that being served anything other than peanut butter sandwiches and bananas (but never together, god help you!) is child abuse. Mealtimes are hilarious because the tiny baby is eating like a vegan linebacker and the preschooler is freaking out about a single solitary spinach leaf.

We're doing BLW with the baby but did purees with our oldest, so part of me wonders if that's why. Mommy-guilt is a beast!


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:11 pm 
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We never did purees and we have our PB sammich and banana days.

The weird thing to me is how much it changes from week to week. I like the "It's Not About Nutrition" idea of a safe food to offer instead, but it's supposed to be something the child will eat but is kind of boring. I've been using spoonfuls of peanut butter, but she actually loves that so it's not perfect (the author uses cottage cheese). It's supposed to be something they'll eat but don't love yet is nutritiously acceptable as a backup food and requires no prep, and I don't know what that is.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:39 pm 
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I don't know either, annak. Malka's safe foods are tofu and pasta, but she loves them passionately, so that doesn't really fit the bill of boringness.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding Toddlers is Annoying
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Leela refused to eat the mung bean and cabbage curry I made (it was probably a bit too turmeric-laden). So after a few bites, I just gave her plain Trader Joe's lentils, which she will eat no matter what. Its our healthy protein-rich safe food :)

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